Thursday, December 04, 2008

Hanging with "Team Huck"

Mike Huckabee is absolutely running for president in 2012.

He didn’t tell me this when I met him Wednesday night, but then again, he didn’t need to.

You know I’m a sucker for all things presidential, and my son was impressed when he met Gov. Huckabee at a press conference after a campaign rally earlier this year.

So we were excited to hear that Huckabee was going to appear at a local bookstore to sign copies of his new book.

The line was pretty long, but staffers passed out “rules,” saying that he could not personalize, and while people could snap photos to their heart’s content as he signed, he could not pose. This allowed him to get through a line of 460 people in about 45 minutes at another store earlier in the day.

Once he arrived, a bunch of staffers ran around dressed kind of like a NASCAR pit crew with "TEAM HUCK" on the back and ads down the sleeves. One staffer had an unusual computer mounted on a podium that took your e-mail address for future newsletters and a chance for a prize.

They were selling special embossed gift boxes with a certificate of authenticity for the signature, which one told us were available outside, on the bus.

Then walked out and saw a massive rolling billboard, with Huckabee’s face plastered on the sides, and the words, "Bringing Common sense back to America."

As I noted to my son, that's a lot of stuff just to sell a $22 book.

That said, Huckabee, as he did at the press conference, came off friendly and engaging. While staffers made sure they books moved quickly across the podium, he made sure folks had a quick word, eye-contact and a hand shake. A very polished politician.

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